Published by Berkley Books on September 14, 2021
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Romance
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As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn't believe in lasting romantic relationships--but her best friend does, and that's what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.
That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor--and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford's reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive's career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding...six-pack abs.
Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.
Ever since I first heard about The Love Hypothesis early this year through Nick @ The Infinite Limits of Love, I’ve been waiting with bated breath for it to be released. The book follows Olive, who is a PhD candidate in biology, and Dr Adam Carlsen, an academic in her department, which got me super excited because I have a PhD in psychology and it sounded like a story that I could really relate to. And I absolutely did!
The novel begins with Olive planting a kiss on a stranger late one night in the hallways of Stanford’s biology department, to mislead her best friend into thinking that she’s happily in a relationship. But when said stranger turns out to be the infamous grump and star researcher of the department, and agrees to fake-date Olive to help her out, things start getting a little weird. Olive didn’t expect Adam to be nice to her and she certainly didn’t expect to develop feelings for him either…
I really really enjoyed The Love Hypothesis. It was such an accurate depiction of academia (the good, bad and in-between), which isn’t surprising since the author herself is a professor in neuroscience. I just related to all of the different aspects, including the fear of having to give a conference talk over a poster, the lack of funding, the late nights, the imposter syndrome, the absent advisor (and sadly the abusive one). I loved all of it, though I do have to say that I’ve never ever EVER seen anyone sit on someone else’s lap at a colloquium talk before! I’ve read many books about STEM romances and scientists but I can truly say that this is the first one that has truly and accurately depicted the experience of a female in STEM research for me.
I guess it goes without saying that I also really related to Olive and Adam because they’re just my type of people. I felt such a strong kinship with Olive and was 100% in her corner throughout the entire book. And because Adam was also firmly in Olive’s corner, I connected with his character as well. I really enjoyed reading about their developing relationship and thought they had such a supportive and positive relationship. The Love Hypothesis is an open-door romance and has one quite smutty scene, but what I really appreciated about the scene was the way it tackled Olive’s demisexuality… and the fact that it was kind of awkward – because sex is sometimes just really awkward and not at all like what’s described in romance novels!
I really really loved The Love Hypothesis and thought it was a wonderful debut for Ali Hazelwood. I’ve read the sneak peek to her next novel (coming 2022) and I’m super excited for all that it has to bring! If you’re looking for a great STEM romance, look no further than The Love Hypothesis.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
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